Our World in 7 Headlines: Oct. 7

By Tara MacIsaac, Epoch Times
October 7, 2013 Updated: October 7, 2013

Uzbekistan: Doctors, artists and railway workers–all are cotton pickers in Jizzakh province

Jizzakh doctors who could not afford 250,000 soms to buy an exemption from cotton duty were sent to the Pakhtakorskiy region to pick cotton on October 2. …

The only way to get out of cotton work is to buy an exemption for 250,000 soms (92 USD), says one staff member. 

Health reasons or any other circumstances–whether they be personal or family related – were not considered. 

“You either pay or work,” continues the doctor. 

Patients stand to suffer as a result of not enough doctors and other medical personnel being available, and the hospital has been forced to reduce the number of patient it sees by only admitting emergency cases. …

Uz News


Uzbekistan, north of Afghanistan. (Google Maps)


France: France may pardon executed World War I ‘cowards’

A new report requested by France’s Ministry of Veteran Affairs recommends that French WWI soldiers who were executed by their own side for desertion be officially considered under a new light.

A report delivered to France’s Ministry of Veteran Affairs on Tuesday has suggested the country officially review the history of First World War soldiers who refused to fight and were executed by the hundreds as an example for other troops.

As France prepares to mark the 100th anniversary of the “Great War” next year, the new text highlights the double injustice suffered by many soldiers who were killed by firing squad and went down in history books as “cowards”. …

France 24


South Africa: Birds of Prey Keep Cape Town Pigeons Away

CAPE TOWN—A bird of prey a day keeps pesky pigeons away — at least that is the case for the Cape Town Stadium, where falcons and hawks keep their beady eyes on the pitch.

They are not there to watch a soccer game but rather to ensure feral pigeons do not land at the bowl-like structure for an easy meal. …

A few weeks ago, the City of Cape Town brought in bird experts Hank Chalmers and Alan Clemo on a six-month contract to scare away the pigeons, and some doves, using natural methods. …

South African Press Association


Venezuela: Scarcity and Starvation? Venezuelan Food FAQs

With all the media hype about Venezuela’s food shortages this year, I decided to collate a few frequently asked questions about the food situation here, and set out to answer them.

The New York Times and Bloomberg both describe food scarcity levels as “chronic”. CNN has reported that toilet paper, along with “basic goods and foodstuffs…have been disappearing from store shelves since earlier this year”, while according to USA Today, “[c]ooking oil, milk, chicken and other staples are often in short supply at supermarkets”. …



Estonia: Skype Boss Supports Switch to Working Languages Other than Estonian

The head of Skype Estonia, Tiit Paananen, says many Estonian businesses should switch to English or Russian as working languages to bump up their competitiveness.

“I think there is a number of businesses with international ambitions, which could easily make it their priority to switch to English in management systems and documentation,” Paananen told Postimees.

“Even if they don’t have international ambitions, they need to adopt English in order to bring in talents – marketing people or sales managers,” Paananen said. …

EER News


Japan: Cultural critic Azuma wants to turn Fukushima nuclear plant into tourist spot

Philosopher and writer Hiroki Azuma isn’t joking when he pitches the possibility of turning the wrecked Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant into a sightseeing spot.

Azuma, a professor of philosophy at Waseda University and known as a cultural critic, wants to combine nuclear disaster and tourism in what, at first glance, seems to be an indecent pairing of words. But he is straightforward about his intention.

“To make sure the memories of the disaster don’t fade away,” Azuma said. …



Bangladesh: Diseased Indian cattle on sale at border markets

Indian cattle infected with different diseases, especially anthrax, dominate 12 cattle markets in border areas of the district ahead of Eid-ul-Azha as those are selling for much lower prices than local ones.

These cattle, especially the large-sized ones, are also sent to the capital and other parts of the country, cattle traders said. …

“Many of the Indian cattle that are smuggled through different border areas are infected with diseases especially anthrax but these are selling in the market without any examination by the livestock officials,” said Abu Hasnath Rana, a college teacher in Patgram upazila.

Many people are purchasing diseased Indian cattle ignoring the risk of serious health hazard, he said. …

The Daily Star